Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

Frozen Memories

Last night we experienced the lowest low in a couple of years. Today the high hit about freezing. I worked hard and smart at work.

On Facebook, one of my cool friends is running a "comment for a poet" post. She's very cool for a number of reasons, not least because she makes the poet optional, and does not saddle you with one just by your hitting "like". I am not going to ask for a poet, but instead will talk here about one of my favorite poems. It's by a poet who was in vogue decades ago then out of vogue then in again and now out again. But I live a post-vogue life.

By Edna St. Vincent Millay [pubic domain]

We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
It was bare and bright, and smelled like a stable—
But we looked into a fire, we leaned across a table,
We lay on a hill-top underneath the moon;
And the whistles kept blowing, and the dawn came soon.

We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry;
And you ate an apple, and I ate a pear,
From a dozen of each we had bought somewhere;
And the sky went wan, and the wind came cold,
And the sun rose dripping, a bucketful of gold.

We were very tired, we were very merry,
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
We hailed, “Good morrow, mother!” to a shawl-covered head,
And bought a morning paper, which neither of us read;
And she wept, “God bless you!” for the apples and pears,
And we gave her all our money but our subway fares.

Source: Poetry (May 1919).

I think Millay appeals to me because the people who populate her poems are all like people I knew in high school or at the university. I set a fellow's reading of this poem to music some years ago, and like to come back to this poem from time to time.

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